DIARY OF A CHEF AT HOME
a collection of holistic nutrition tips & tricks, plus many of Food on the Table's favourite recipes
The holidays can leave many of us feeling a bit off track when it comes to the foods we eat. With the onslaught of parties, dinners, late nights, excessive sweets and increased alcohol consumption, it might leave us feeling heavier, sluggish, lower energy and feeding into a sugar addiction.
I'm familiar with ALL of these symptoms. I'm a person that really enjoys the holidays and while most of the time my diet is primarily sugar and grain free, I do allow myself to indulge on occasion! Over the years I've found a few tools that allow me to do so without having to compromise my well being because seriously...I want to have my cake and eat it too...obviously!
The following 7 Tips to Get Your Eating Back on Track can be applied to your life at anytime. These are all practices that I do daily, like eating lacto-fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi etc) during at least one meal. Huge difference in my health from this one simple thing.
If the following 7 tips are new to you, start with one or two, when you feel comfortable, add another. You'd be amazed at how small changes in your diet will have a lasting and sustainable effect. I like to remind myself of this, "Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out"- R. Collier
Along with 7 easy tips to get your eating on track, I've included 12 recipes from other food bloggers (and myself) to get you on your way! What kinds of tools do you have? Please share in the comments!
1. EAT YOUR GREENS
You've likely heard this before but only because it rings some truth! Leafy green veggies are an affordable and delicious way to bring serious absorbable vitamins and minerals into your body. They're a nutrient dense powerhouse and are the perfect food to incorporate into your daily diet to support a healthy digestive tract, provide high levels of fiber to keep things moving along and promote gentle detoxification to flush out those unwanted toxins.
Creamy Greens Soup by Food on the Table
Simple Kale Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing by The Naughty Nutritionists (Jessica Mitton)
2- DAILY CONSUMPTION OF LACTO-FERMENTED FOODS
Eating small amounts of lacto-fermented foods (like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha) is an affordable and highly effective way to promote a healthy gut. Consistent consumption of small amounts (1-3 tablespoons per day) can be even more effective than a probiotic pill. Lacto-fermented foods contain highly absorbable nutrients like vitamins B and C, beneficial enzymes to support healthy digestion and absorption and several strains of healthy bacteria to support the digestive and immune systems.
Homemade Sauerkraut by Wellness Mama
Lacto-fermented Cauliflower, Carrot and Garlic by Cultures for Health
3. REPLACE POOR QUALITY FATS WITH HEALTHY FATS
Unrefined coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and grassfed butter are all great options to use over polyunsaturated fats like margarine and canola oil which when eaten in excess can contribute to a large number of disease. Fat is required to transport fat soluable vitamins, aid in mineral absorption, protect organs by providing insulation and padding, support immune and cardiovascular health, regulate body temperature, aid in hormone production, important component in cellular structure & communication, antiviral and antifungal and provides flavour and stability in food. Fat in a meal helps slow down nutrient absorption so that we may go longer between meals.
Whipped Chocolate Chia Pudding by Qolub Kitchen
Cucumber Avocado Salad by The Healthy Foodie
4. TRY ALTERNATIVE OR WHOLE, SPROUTED GRAINS
As a nutritional consultant and private cook, I work with a lot of people with gluten sensitivities or allergies. I don't think that gluten itself is solely the culprit (unless there's an actual gluten allergy) as there are many underlying factors...but that's for another post! Whole, sprouted grains that contain lower amounts of gluten like spelt and einkorn are a great option as the phytic acids (anti-nutrients) are neutralized during the soaking / sprouting process.
Other alternative flours like almond, chickpea or coconut flour are also great choices for a lower carb and gluten free option.
Easy Chicken Fingers by Wellness Mama
Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread by Paleo Grubs
5. ADD MINERAL RICH FOODS INTO YOUR DIET
Minerals play a role in almost every function in our body. A well rounded diet especially rich in vegetables will ensure that you get a variety of minerals, however, many people do not get adequate amounts into their diet. Adding unrefined sea salt, sea vegetables, fermented foods, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and whole grains are all great ways to get more minerals into your diet.
Lemon Tahini Dressing by Food on the Table
Mineral Rich Sipping Broth by Nourished Kitchen
6. REDUCE OR ELIMINATE HIGHLY PROCESSED SUGARS.
Many people are addicted to sugar, children and adults alike. Sugar raises dopamine levels in the brain which is a “feel good” hormone that we naturally produce. The excess levels of dopamine gives feelings of pleasure but eventually wears off causing a “crash” and creating an imbalance in brain chemistry leading to addiction. Thus begins the vicious cycle of a sugar addiction. For some people, it can only take a small amount to get caught up in this cycle. Opt for minimally processed sweeteners that contain nutrients, like raw honey, maple syrup, molasses, sucanat, rapadura, erythritol or stevia leaf.
Grain Free Apple Ginger Granola by Food on the Table
Easy Golden Milk Lattè by Mama Natural
7. Consume Hydrating Liquids
Good ol' water is my number one, daily choice for a thirst quenching, hydrating drink. Sometimes we may require more hydration and electrolytes; after playing sports or being under intense heat. Other times we may just want something with a little more flavour than a glass of water!
Green Juice in a Blender by Just a Taste
Homemade Electrolyte Drinks by The Hippy Homemaker
Do you have any other tips that help to get you back on track? Please leave a comment and share with what it is. It's always good to have more tools in the tool box ;)
One of my great joys in life is cooking! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & food lover I continue to explore the balance between healthy, traditional food preparation and tasty dishes.
Check out my new COOKBOOK! Planting Seeds of Nourishment with over 40 whole-foods based recipes and tons of nutrition info!